Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw a large drop in short interest during the month of October. As of October 15th, there was short interest totalling 46,403,307 shares, a drop of 4.1% from the September 28th total of 48,402,349 shares. Currently, 0.6% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 34,699,190 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.3 days.
In other news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 203,418 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.68, for a total value of $21,700,632.24. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,014,247 shares in the company, valued at approximately $108,199,869.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 47,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.67, for a total transaction of $5,060,490.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 109,687 shares in the company, valued at $11,809,999.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 853,460 shares of company stock worth $92,965,482. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. Peak Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $107,000. Woodard & Co. Asset Management Group Inc. ADV grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 90.5% in the 3rd quarter. Woodard & Co. Asset Management Group Inc. ADV now owns 1,048 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $119,000 after purchasing an additional 498 shares during the last quarter. Fort L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $119,000. WP Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $131,000. Finally, Quattro Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $132,000. 71.91% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.18. The firm had revenue of $29.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.92 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 16.38% and a return on equity of 39.86%. Microsoft’s quarterly revenue was up 18.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.84 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Microsoft will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.72%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.30%.
A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on MSFT shares. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Griffin Securities raised their price target on shares of Microsoft from $119.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Deutsche Bank raised their price target on shares of Microsoft to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Finally, DZ Bank restated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, thirty-three have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $121.88.
Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.
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